Depth of Knowledge Newsletter
December of 2014
Hey Friend of Jeffalytics!
What a year! If you were with me from the beginning, you have received over 50 tool recommendations and another 150+ thought provoking articles. That’s nearly something awesome each and every day.
Thanks for sticking with me through the year, and let’s make 2015 equally great.
Before we get into our last batch of tools and articles for 2014, I wanted to share a few lessons I (re)learned in 2014.
1) Monthly is the perfect format for delivering this newsletter.
In November I got ambitious and sent out a newsletter for the first half of the month. I never delivered the second November newsletter. It turns out that I only have enough energy to deliver these once per month, so I am back to that schedule.
There are many reasons for this decision, but it mostly comes down to prioritization. I can make one comprehensive newsletter in a month, but adding a second newsletter means something else must be sacrificed.
2) Hold yourself accountable to a schedule and you will get results!
The Jeffalytics newsletter comes out once a month because I promised a monthly newsletter. There is no way I would skip a month with that promise in place.
The Jeffalytics blog doesn’t see nearly as much love, because I never promised any frequency of posting. As a result, I post sporadically and the site failed to thrive in 2014. Had I committed to posting once a week, or even once a month, results would have flourished.
How do I know this? Because that’s what I did with Knowledge Land. After sending out 5 consecutive newsletters this year where I said “I need to write more” I set a schedule for writing in December. I promised myself that I would publish a blog post every Monday, Thursday and Friday. Monday I would write a piece of wisdom I have gained over the years. Thursday I would publish responses to questions from a Knowledge Land member that others may also benefit from hearing. On Friday I would publish industry related stats (with a cute picture of a puppy alongside).
The result? A 98.97% increase in sessions for the month (1,731 vs 870). Not only that, but 100% more free membership signups (68 vs 34). More pageviews. More unique visitors. More SALES!
All because I forced myself to write 3 articles a week. That’s about 24 hours of my time spread out over 30 days. I published an article on Christmas day. I wrote an article while having a glass of wine by the pool.
Great results followed. Less than an hour a day on average!
For me, the equation was simple: accountability = results.
Give it a try in 2015 if you haven’t already.
Analytics Tool Watch
Here are some analytics tools that I have come across since we last spoke. Some of these are startups, while others have been around for years. By linking in this newsletter I am not personally endorsing these tools.
- Google Analytics Embed API (ga-dev-tools.appspot.com) – Embed charts from Google Analytics into web pages. Been around a while, but this documentation is what you really need.
- Data for Decks (datafordecks.com) – While I have not used this product myself, I would have loved this concept in my agency days. Send them your data and they will create a slide for you in Powerpoint within two days. Might come in handy for you!
- TrackMaven (trackmaven.com) – I came across this tool through a trackback from an old blog post. Anyone who cites me as “Sauer” in an article will get my click. Having a nice homepage will get them a mention in the newsletter.
- Scroll Depth (scrolldepth.parsnip.io) – There are many scoll tracking plugins for Google Analytics. This one is open source and has good documentation.
More Cool Tools and Startups
All Analytics and no play makes Jeff a dull boy. Here are some interesting business startups and tools that I have recently come across that I thought you might enjoy.
- PicMonkey (picmonkey.com) – This is the secret to my blog header images. Make professional looking blog headers with text in 5 minutes. Please don’t tell anyone else, ok?
- Ghost (ghost.org) – The sexiest blog platform not named WordPress. It will take me a lot to go away from WP, but this is definitely promising.
- Teleport.org (teleport.org) – Understand the costs of living in the different neighborhoods of a metro area. The map visualization is the prettiest interactive map I have ever seen online. Hope they open-source it!
Thought Provoking Articles and Guides
A mix of advice, strategy and some awesome tactics to see things to the finish line.
- The Many Business Models of News by Thomas Baekdal (@baekdal) – Every time Baekdal posts something, I earmark it for future reading. You need to read with a clear head and open mind, but the insights are golden. Here he talks about silicon valley syndrome, how Uber is really just Wal-Mart, and how businesses should scale. This is a paid article that you can view free by clicking the above link. While you are at it, read How Social Media is Making itself Irrelevant
- Micro Data and Schema.org Rich Snippets: Everything you need to know by Daniel Butler (@dbseo) – If I could make love to one new blog from 2014, it would be Built Visible. Great stuff, always.
- Common MythConceptions by David McCandless (@infobeautiful) – The most precise debunking of “common knowledge” that you will ever come across. Spend 3 minutes and you’ll feel smarter.
- My Recipe for Success: How to Launch a Successful Blog by Matthew Barby (@matthewbarby) – Matthew Barby and I started our blogs at around the same time. He just does it better. This post is a great viewpoint into how he approaches success.
- Removing Referral Spam from Google Analytics by Analytics Edge (@Analytics_Edge) – A topic I have been meaning to write about. Then I see that someone has done it better than I could.
- The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History by Bloomberg Businessweek (@bw) – #1 is my favorite, because it unlocks the world to everyone. And no, it’s not the Internet.
- How A Real Estate Blog Went From 2,000 To 18,000,000 Visits Per Month In Two Years by Randy Nelson (@DangerPenguin) – You could read an article from a pundit saying “adopt content marketing or die” or you could read this article. Read this article, because it is a freaking blueprint to amazing results. It is all spelled out here. These people are awesome. Favorite quote: “It’s not rocket science; it’s just hard work”
- CW500: Why data analysts need a soft edge to make the most of hard data by Bill Goodwin (@Williamrt) – I learned this very early in the process. No matter how smart you are, without proper soft-skills analysts will have trouble breaking through.
- Four Things I Wish Every Chart Did by Des Traynor (@destraynor ) – A dead-simple reminder of why your charts are not getting the love you think they deserve. Here’s a similar article if you like the topic.
- Google’s Larry Page: The most ambitious CEO in the universe by Miguel Helft (@mhelft) – Moonshots galore!
- The Man Who Made ‘Tetris’ by Jagger Gravning (@GoForRainbow) – Honestly, I thought the whole Tetris-Russia connection was just marketing. It definitely is not!
- Conversion Rate Maturity Model: Processes by Michal Parizek (@parezem) – The process behind optimizing for conversions.
- From 1,000,000 to Graham’s Number by Tim Urban (@timurban80) – This should be accompanied with a head-exploding animated gif.
- How To Measure Social ROI With Google Analytics by Alan Morte (@alanmorte) – This article is amazing and it has a total of 6 shares. Help spread the word if you like it.
- Ten Things We Believe after 1,000 Days Building Maptia by Maptia (@Maptia ) – These entrepreneurs have a great story!
- Why has human progress ground to a halt? by Michael Hanlon (@MikeHanlon1964) – Hard to believe that all of this is true, but there have been almost no major innovations since 1971. Why?
- The World Is Not Falling Apart by Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack (@sapinker) – This is the article I wish I had handy whenever I hear someone lamenting the good old days. The world is at its best right now.
Popular articles by Jeffalytics
As I mentioned in the intro of this email, I wrote more in December than pretty much the rest of the year combined. Please do give them a read and share if you find them useful.
- Luck. What is it Good For? Absolutely Nothing!
- What is Skin in the Game and Do You Want It?
- Forget a Piece of the Pie, Find a Bigger Pie to Grow Your Wealth
- You Don’t Have to Hit Rock Bottom to Find Motivation
- Does Building an Audience Through Consistently Publishing Good Content Still Work?
- How Savvy Marketers Deliver Great Value with No Noise
- How do you Start an SEO Department within a Paid Media Agency?
- How do Pioneering Digital Marketers Build a Digital Marketing Team?
Stats and Puppies
- 68% of Mobile Searchers Stop Paying Attention After Seeing the First Search Result
- Having an Image in a Tweet more than Doubles Chances of it Being Retweeted
- 82.7% of Paid Search Ad Spend in the US Goes to Google
Over at Jeffalytics